Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
12Trip End Mar 31, 2008
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..I think I can how give a fair assessment of life in Cusco after living here for 3 weeks. I suppose I can start with lets say the city itself. It is so very different from anywhere I have ever been. The main reason for this would be the adobe buildings everywhere. Every building except the biggest ones (and the ones in center of the city) are adobe. This gives the city such a different feel all around.
Second to that the city gets its 'feel' from the swarms of tourists around the area. This is what I disliked the most about the city. However being a tourist myself it is a bit hard to be so judgmental about it all. What got to me were the tourists who didn't even try to fit in, would not even attempt to speak Spanish and would get upset at the locals when they couldn't clue in. I saw this a LOT.
I made as many attempts as possible to get out of the city and get to the Sacred Valley. This was just as touristy but I managed to make it around using only the local transport and not relying on a tourist agency or bus tour company. I really enjoyed riding with the locals as opposed to a big bus full of more tourists.
I try and compare it to back in Canada but it is so hard. Tourists here stick out like sore thumbs. I don't think it is the case back in Canada, nobody really stands out. Here it is so apparent you have money and come from elsewhere. It makes it hard to blend in at all.
My last week in Cusco was spent under the weather. Normally this would bother me a lot but not so much this time around. I was very serious about my Spanish lessons and made sure to go to all my classes. I spent the down time studying my verbs and vocabulary which really helped me get ahead. I suppose I should mention that this whole last week was spent staying with a family in a home stay. The family consisted of the mother, the son and the grandfather. They were really excellent to me. I got fed three meals a day, always Peruvian dishes.
Speaking of Peruvian food...It is good, but they use a LOT of potatoes and eggs. Pretty much every dish has one or the other or both. Things are also a bit backwards here. Lunch is the big meal and the first day I couldn't even finish it.
My week finished with one more night out on the Saturday. It was a late one yet again and probably not the smartest move because I wasn't fully over my little bit of sore throat and runny nose.